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Old 04-23-2011, 11:25 PM   #21
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Both of my boys have been around homebrewing since they were born. Neither one of them really liked the taste until they were 18 to 19. Did they steal beer every now and then. Yeah, probably. Did they steal a cigarette or two, yeah probably. I have always told them, when you get old enough to make your own decisions about your life, then you can drink (smoke, etc.) any time you like. I equate being able to make your own decisions to emancipated. Once I'm not responsible for your actions, it's up to you. Until that time, it's up to me to set a good example. By the way, both of my boys are grown, the youngest almost out of college and both of them are damned fine brewer's!
That's how I'd like to imagine "the later years" of being a parent who also happens to brew as a hobby -- raise intelligent children who respect alcohol, and maybe even share the hobby someday.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:27 PM   #22
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I've been brewing since my 6 year old daughter was 4. She knows that I brew beer and that me and her mom enjoy beer. She's allowed a sip every once in a while - sometimes she likes it, sometimes she doesn't.

The way I figure it, my wife and I were VERY sheltered as kids. As a result, when we hit the rebellion stage we each made very stupid decisions in regards to alcohol. My hope is that since alcohol is no big deal in this house she wont be that stupid college kid having too many beers at the party...

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Old 04-24-2011, 12:05 AM   #23
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The way I figure it, my wife and I were VERY sheltered as kids. As a result, when we hit the rebellion stage we each made very stupid decisions in regards to alcohol. My hope is that since alcohol is no big deal in this house she wont be that stupid college kid having too many beers at the party...
I was one of those too. I also had a buddy in high school who was allowed to drink at home so at parties drinking wasn't a big deal to him and was very responsible about it (well most of the time). My two have been helping me since they were 5 and 7, steeping grains, bottling, etc. They've seen my wife and I drink, they've also seen me hungover on the rare occasion I have too many and are aware of what happens when you have too many. I offer them a taste of different things, and like anything sometimes they like it and sometimes they don't.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:17 AM   #24
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Control what you can control. My seven year old loves to help. She sees my hop garden and brewing like mom's vegetable garden and cooking. Yes, she knows what beer is and what it can do. I don't hide anything. I want her to hear the truth from me instead of something made up from someone else. She has full range on the questions she can ask. It is amazing how deep a 7 year old can think. I know these conversations will be on more important subjects down the road. Hopefully I have built some trust and openess with her for the bigger subjects that are coming my way soon.

When you have a daughter you see the world alot different than before.

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Old 04-24-2011, 12:17 AM   #25
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What I would do is just have an open and honest dialog about what you're doing and allow the OCCASIONAL taste to them. I was lucky to have had parents who allowed me the occasional beer or glass of wine with dinner. It taught me not to be afraid of alcohol and how to drink in a controlled and moderated manner. Like anything else, there were slip ups and incidents with overindulgence but those were fewer than they would have been otherwise.

If you have a freed up keg allow them to make soda or a fizzy fruit drink to teach them about carbonation and make them feel more comfortable about the brewing experience and the creativity involved with it. Hell, everyone likes a good root beer.

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:09 AM   #26
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My four year old son is my brewsistant, he's more than happy to be doing something for a few hours with dad. I'm not going to worry about the alcohol aspect until he gets older, although he does know that beer is "daddy's" and root beer is his.

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:24 AM   #27
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All my kids ask if I am making beer. I tell them the truth and since no one in my house falls down drunk, its not a big deal. All of them have tried it from my 5 yo to my 14 yo. My older ones don't even care anymore and the younger ones don't understand the concept of alcohol so its just like soda to them since they only get a sip. Expose them young so its not a taboo subject to be discovered later in high school or college through binging

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Old 04-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #28
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Making brew is no different than harvesting a garden for dinner, making a sweater, or washing your own car. It is a choice to do differently than mainstream and save a few sheckles. My oldest is 10 and my first brew was when she was in the womb.

They say education and upbringing starts in the home and homebrewing is no different. My girls both help out with batches and their reward is homemade soda.

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Old 04-24-2011, 02:11 AM   #29
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Like Dwain, both of my boys have been around homebrewing since they were born. We also make lots of other stuff ourselves. They are now 19 & 21 and in college. We are German, so drinking beer or wine is just a typical part of a meal for us. It is also fairly common for German children to have a little beer mixed with cola or Fanta, so we never felt the need to keep it from them or tell them its for adults only. Even though its never been taboo for my boys, they never really had a taste for beer/wine when they were young either. We never drink to intoxication, and when we go out, we decide who drinks and who drives.

My youngest has no interest in alcohol whatsoever. My older son has a beer occassionaly, as was interested in homebrewing, which is what brought me back to the hobby after an almost 7 year respite.

I think if you have a healthy attitude towards beer and brewing, there doesn't doesn't have to be any stigma about it.

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Old 04-24-2011, 02:21 AM   #30
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I have a newborn and 3 year old who is my "Bottling and Production Line Supervisor". I think that homebrewing is a great hobby and can be well used to educate children. My three year old son can explain to you in pretty good detail what fermentation is and how beer is made. Personally, I think that's pretty great.

I want my children to have an understanding and appreciation for what alcohol is. I want them to be able to see it as something more than just a thing that gets you drunk.

I believe the reason that adolescents act so irresponsibly with alcohol is because it's something that's so stigmatized by adults. At least that's how it was for me. My parents told me that "drinking was bad and you should only do it when you're old enough".... So then at my first taste of freedom I would get hammered on swill. And that's something I want to avoid with my son.

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